One of the world’s bestselling authors, romance novelist Nora Roberts is suing Brazillian author Cristiane Serruya for plagiarism, seeking up to $25,000 in damages.
Left: Nora Roberts, Right: Cristiane Serruya | Image via Jornal O Global
According to a US News article, the lawsuit began on April 24th and Robert’s allegations were reported Rio De Janiero’s morning papers. Roberts’ case calls Serruya’s romance novels “a literary patchwork, piecing together phrases whose form portrays emotions practically identical to those expressed in the [Roberts’] books.”
Roberts also stated:
“If you plagiarize, I will come for you. If you take my work, you will pay for it and I will do my best to see you don’t write again.”
Nora Roberts wants to turn the situation around by donating any proceeds to Brazilian Literary organizations. Hopefully that will help spread more original writing and creativity.
On the subject of plagiarism, Roberts made a post on her blog entitled Not A Rant, But A Promise. This post revealed extensive research Roberts has done on the organized system of plagiarized books. We may not see it, but it happens on a “professional” level every day, with teams put together to hire cheap ghost writers and even tutors to teach writers how to scam the system.
If Serruya is proven guilty, her lawyer Saulo Daniel Lopez says that “[she] could be forced to pay from the proceeds of her books”. Cristiane Serruya has defended herself against Roberts’ allegations, stating that she is using software to analyze her books. She stated:
My books are big. In a book of 120,000 words it’s difficult to know how many supposedly came from a work of Nora Roberts.
Unfortunately for Serruya, she already has an alleged reputation as a plagiarist. According to US News:
Serruya has faced allegations from several other writers and even inspired the Twitter hashtag #CopyPasteCris. In February, author Courtney Milan titled a blog posting “Cristiane Serruya is a copyright infringer, a plagiarist, and an idiot,” and cited numerous passages from Serruya’s “Royal Love” that closely resembled Milan’s “The Duchess War.”
So far things do not look like they are in Serruya’s favor, but in the end, if Roberts wins, hopefully the money is put to good use.
Featured Image via CBS